Ten Fifteen Years After

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of a very, very good day: the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Here’s a column I wrote on the ten year anniversary; happily, I see no need to update it today. A sample:


What was it like back then, just those few years ago? It was an astonishing time to be alive. After the horror of Tiananmen Square, just another bloody repeat of Budapest in 1956 or Prague in 1968, the West resigned itself to more and more years of darkness hovering over half of the world. When the Chinese tanks rolled over Chinese children, we doubted whether any of us would ever see a world without Communist dictatorships in every time zone.

And then the Poles said, “There is no liberty without Solidarity!” And the Hungarians cried out, “No more will we be slaves!” And the Germans roared, “Wir sind ein Volk!”–“We are one nation!” And the Czechs and Slovaks sang, “Now’s the time!” And the rest of us watched in wonder as a new world was born.

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